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Packing Light

Packing Light | The LOOP Blog

When I was little, I would always forget to bring something I was supposed to have with me at all times. Whether it be my meter, a few extra needles (this was back in the “shot” days), insulin, you name it. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the numerous times I heard my mom or dad sigh and say, “Sarah, you’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to you!”. And they were right. But I wanted to be like everyone else. Carry the cute, “in-season” purses, not lug around a huge ugly bag that was for diabetes purposes. Then, when I did start carrying everything along with the kitchen sink and toilet (just kidding) in my bag, I realized that I would have a pure mess on my hands because it was all just thrown in there – no “place” for my supplies.

We read of stories about how and how much to pack up our diabetes supplies for long, far away trips, but how do you pack when you’re only going “down the road”? My solution was a makeup bag. Not a huge one, but one just big enough to carry one or two of everything I needed just until I got home again. And, with the makeup bag, you can find cute prints that don’t automatically make it stand out as “medical” too. Are you a dude and not a fan of cute makeup bags? That’s okay. They make clear and black ones too, and no one ever has to know it was from the makeup section! You can even have some of them embroidered (which may not be a bad idea anyway, so you can have something like “Diabetes Supplies” marked on the outside of it).

My d-grab bag always has at least one of my “essential” parts: Reservoir, site/set, set inserter, sensor, sensor charger, sensor inserter, two extra batteries, alcohol pads, IV prep pads, at least 3 Tegaderm patches (I use 1 with sites and 2 with sensors), the current bottle of insulin I’m using, extra syringe, ketone meter and strips, vial of bg meter strips, Multi-clix lancet drum, and a penny (because you never know when you have to change out a battery and you won’t be able to find spare change to open that battery cap with!).

Do I always carry my bag with me? No. Only when I know I’m going to be somewhere over an hour or more than a 30 minute drive from home, or somewhere that doesn’t have a stash of it’s own. So, during the week, I don’t carry it with me because I know that I have all of these supplies in a clear box in my drawer at work, and insulin is in the fridge there. But if I am going to go shopping or “over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house”, then I’ll grab up my d-bag, throw it in my handbag and be on my way.

I know this sounds like a lot, and in truth, it is. But be honest. How many times have you gone to a family function (Thanksgiving dinner, anyone?) and something happen with your pump that wasn’t as simple as just dismissing an alarm? Or right when you’re in the middle of watching the playoffs and your sensor ends, and you’re an hour away from home at your best friend’s house? (Sidenote: Yes, I watch the playoffs too!) It’s already irritating that you have to miss time to fix the issue going on with your pump, but it’s even more irritating when you can’t find or don’t have what you need to fix said issue. If you can find a smallish-medium case to fit everything in, and remember to keep it restocked if you use your stash, and throw it in your bag (or your significant others’ bag, or baby’s diaper bag), it can save lots of time and maybe some inconvenience that can happen. And, most importantly, keep you with your family and friends.


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety information.

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